Clean Break


Clean Break
(1955)
   This classic heist novel by Lionel White was the basis for STANLEY KUBRICK’s THE KILLING (1956). Lionel White was a police reporter and newspaper editor before turning to writing crime novels in 1953. Clean Break chronicles the planning and execution of a racetrack robbery. It begins with vignettes of the various protagonists arriving at the New York apartment of ex-con Johnny Clay—gambler Marvin Unger, racetrack bartender Michael Henty, cashier George Peatty, and policeman Randy Kennan. Clay, the ringleader, has chosen them because they have no criminal records and because they need the money (Unger and Kennan have gambling debts, Henty wishes to move his family into a better neighborhood, and Peatty wants to indulge the expensive habits of his flirtatious wife). As they hatch out their plan, Sherry, George’s wife, surreptitiously stands outside the room and overhears the details. Unbeknownst to the group, Sherry informs her hoodlum boyfriend,Val Cannon, of the impending caper. Although the heist comes off without a hitch, Cannon and his gang confront the robbers and there is a gunfight that leaves Peatty as the sole survivor. Johnny, in the meantime, has arrived late and, upon finding the police at the scene, flees to the airport. In pursuit is Peatty, who believes Johnny has seduced Sherry. In the climactic scene at La Guardia Airport, Peatty guns down Johnny. The story ends with a policeman arriving on the scene and finding a blood-soaked newspaper with the headline, “Race Track Bandit Makes Clean Break with Two Million. ” For the screen adaptation Stanley Kubrick collaborated with veteran crime novelist JIM THOMPSON.
   References
   ■ Polito, Robert, Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995);
   ■ Williams, Tony,“Clean Break,” in The Encyclopedia of Novels into Film, John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh, eds. , (New York: Facts On File, 1999), pp. 64–65.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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  • clean break — {n. phr.} A complete separation. * /Tom made a clean break with his former girlfriends before marrying Pamela./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • clean\ break — n. phr. A complete separation. Tom made a clean break with his former girlfriends before marrying Pamela …   Словарь американских идиом

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